Guinea-Bissau junta, mediators, agree on interim president
05/11/2012 10:12 GMT
BISSAU, May 11, 2012 (AFP) - Guinea-Bissau coup leaders and west African mediators on Friday agreed that parliamentary speaker Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo will lead a transition government, despite the ousted ruling party's opposition.
The Nigerian official leading the west African mediation effort said there was no chance the toppled government would be restored.
There "is no question of the return" of former prime minister Carlos Gomes and former interim president Raimundo Pereira, who were ousted on April 12, said Nurudeen Mohammad, Nigeria's state minister for foreign affairs.
"We have taken the decision which is the will of the majority of parties. The president of the National Assembly will lead the transition," he explained.
Mohammad is leading an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) delegation which arrived in Bissau Thursday and engaged in long discussions with the junta, political parties and civil society.
At the end of April the junta named Nhamadjo interim leader, however he refused, saying his nomination was not legal.
However with the blessing of ECOWAS, he has now accepted.
"I will continue to work to find a consensus on the prime minister who will be tasked with forming a transition government: I know it won't be an easy task but we will all buckle down," he said.
The ousted ruling African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape-Verde (PAIGC) rejected the decision outright, which one of its leaders, Augusto Olivais, said was "unconstitutional."
"We will not recognise a president who has not been democratically elected," he said.
Since independence the military and state in the west African nation have been in constant competition, leading to countless coups, political assassinations and chronic instability which has allowed cocaine trafficking to flourish.
The latest coup aborted an election process, in which Gomes was the favourite to win, and came as soldiers felt threatened by government's growing reliance on several hundred Angolan troops in the country.
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